2015 MotoGP Argentina: Rossi Shines, Marquez Tumbles
Valentino Rossi scored his second MotoGP win of the young season in remarkable fashion, taking home the win after a dramatic chase of the race leaders, culminating in a showdown with defending champion Marc Marquez, who promptly crashed out of the race in the dying stages after clipping the back wheel of Rossi’s Yamaha YZF-R1M in an attempt to regain the lead.
Rossi’s comeback was made more impressive after making up five seconds in the last 13 laps of the race, taking advantage of Marquez’s tire struggles as the race closed to a conclusion.
The reigning world champion actually led for most of the race, but Rossi’s decision to use a harder rear tire ended up being the ultimate trump card as it helped him gain precious time to ultimately challenge the race leaders. The Doctor caught up to Marquez with two laps remaining, culminating in a scintillating back-and-forth that pretty much had everybody on the edge of their seats.
Then came the crash.
The two actually made contact twice with the second proving to be Marquez’s undoing. In his rush to regain the lead, Marquez made contact with the back wheel of Rossi’s bike, sending the Honda crashing onto the tarmac, prematurely ending the Spaniard’s race.
The win now gives Rossi a nice lead on top of the standings with 66 points. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso continued his stellar campaign this season, finishing second for the third straight race to stay in pace of Rossi at 60 points. Meanwhile, Marquez’s crash sent him tumbling down the standings as Dovizioso’s teammate, Andrea Iannone, and Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, vaulted ahead of the champ with 40 and 37 points, respectively.
Continue reading to read more about the results from the 2015 MotoGP race in Argentina.
Why it matters
If there were still any questions about Yamaha’s perceived form in the 2015 MotoGP season, Valentino Rossi’s come-from-behind victory at the Argentina GP should put all of those doubts to rest. Even Ducati is showing its form after spending a better part of the off-season answering questions about its reliability.
In a round-about kind of way, it does feel like the pressure is now solely on Honda’s shoulders after a disastrous finish to the third race of the season. We all know what happened to Marquez, but what’s not being talked about is his teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, who bowed out of the race with just one lap remaining.
The pair of DNFs is the first time in ages that either Repsol Honda bike failed to score a single point in the same race.
That could become a huge advantage for both Yamaha and Ducati, two teams that suddenly find themselves neck-and-neck in the title picture with Honda floundering in the middle of the pack.
Is this a sign of things to come, though? I don’t think so. Honda’s too good to have things fall apart in the last stages of the race.
I fully expect the defending champions to bounce back after a forgettable Argentina GP. But the recent trend after three races is painting a pretty clear picture that this MotoGP season is going to be as unpredictable as any we’ve had in recent years.
If I haven’t told you yet, I might as well tell you now. Buckle up.